The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Vanderbilt Soccer wins season opener, defeats Chattanooga 3-1

The Commodores won their seventh consecutive season opener on Thursday night.
Vanderbilt Athletics
Maya Antoine dribbling against Chattanooga in the first half of the game. (Photo courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics)

Vanderbilt Soccer started its season in flawless fashion on Thursday night, routing Chattanooga to a 3-1 defeat. The victory helped boost Vanderbilt’s all-time record against Chattanooga to 5-0-0. Although the Commodores lost key goal-scorers Ella Shamburger, Raegan Kelley and Peyton Cutshall after the 2022 season, Vanderbilt had no trouble finding the net against Chattanooga.

U.S. Soccer Player Development invitee and freshman Courtney Jones set the tone for Vanderbilt right off the bat, scoring a goal within the first six minutes of the game. Jones’ goal was assisted by forwards Addie Porter and Rachel Deresky.

“[The Class of 2027 has] been like that since day one,” head coach Darren Ambrose said. “Our upperclassmen have welcomed them and made them feel it’s okay to compete.”

As the first half went on, Vanderbilt continued to see good looks at the net, but no shots were successful. Nearly 28 minutes deep into the first half, Jones had a one-on-one look at the goal and collided with the Chattanooga goalie. The ball deflected off the goalie — Caroline Ekern — and led into the left leg of freshman Maddie Baker. Baker empathically knocked the ball into the top-right corner of the net, pushing Vanderbilt’s lead to 2-0 with nearly 15 minutes left in the first half.

Vanderbilt dominated Chattanooga in the first half, getting 10 shots on goal. Chattanooga only got four shots on goal due to Vanderbilt having possession of the ball for 65% of the first half. The second half was no different, as Vanderbilt maintained its authority. 

To begin the second half, Chattanooga brought a new layer of defensive energy. The Mocs stopped Vanderbilt’s first-half offensive flow and looked to change the narrative of the game. Chattanooga kept fighting for a good look at the net, but costly turnovers haunted them. The Commodores nursed their 2-0 lead for the majority of the second half. Midway through the half, Amber Nguyen had an opportunity to push Vanderbilt’s lead with a volley, but it was off-target. 

Later in the half, with 13:51 remaining, freshman Ella Eggleston received a pass from Deresky. She dribbled past a Chattanooga defender and knocked a silencing goal into the bottom-right of the Chattanooga net. 

In the 84th minute, trailing 3-0, Chattanooga’s Zoey Mize scored off of a Birna Johannsdottir assist. Vanderbilt’s 3-1 cushion proved too strong for Chattanooga to mount in the last six minutes of play. Vanderbilt ended the night with 19 shot attempts, while Chattanooga had 6 shot attempts. 

Vanderbilt will return to action on Sunday, Aug. 20 at 1 p.m. CDT with a home matchup against UMass. 

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About the Contributor
Andrew Wilf
Andrew Wilf, Former Sports Editor
Andrew Wilf (’24) is Sports Editor for The Vanderbilt Hustler. He is from Livingston, N.J., and is majoring in history and minoring in business. He joined the sports staff his freshman year, previously serving as a Staff Writer, Assistant Sports Editor and Deputy Sports Editor. Beyond writing for The Hustler, he is also the host of Anchor Analysis, Commodore Clash and Live From West End. In his free time, Andrew enjoys watching the NFL and playing golf. He can be reached at [email protected].
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